Monday, September 29, 2014

What I learned from my daughter's run

My oldest daughter is participating in the CIBC Run for the Cure this coming weekend. It's the second time she has chosen to do the charity walk/run raising money for breast cancer research, and I have to say, I'm a very proud father that she has decided to be an active member of our community.

Her aunt, my sister-in-law, is a breast cancer survivor, so there's a personal connection providing some extra motivation. We all know someone, or several people, who have fought the battle. Fortunately, more have won than lost thanks to support of research.

Seeing all the people and hearing the stories is more than a bit inspirational. So, here's a short list of things my daughter has taught me by participating in the run:

Little people can do big things
Being at the event is really moving. Seeing the survivors and the families affected is really emotional. There are teams of people and individuals, all with moving stories of why they are there. But it is the young people, like my daughter, who made an impression on me—little people making a big difference

Making it easy to give makes it, well, easy to give
When I did fundraising for activities, charities or sports teams growing up, it was grunt work—going door-to-door with pledge sheets, raffle tickets, chocolate covered almonds or asking for bottles. The whole idea was to make it easy for people to give. You didn't have to do anything other than open he door, then open our wallet.

Now, a nice easy website lets you tap away on your tablet to support a worthy cause.

Shy people step into the spotlight in their own way
Despite being one of the loudest people on earth, my daughter is quite shy in public. But she puts that aside to support a good cause. She's willing to step out of her comfort zone in her own way. This year, she's even talking about wearing a pink costume of some sort. We'll see if that's just big talk or not.

Personal connections are a key to participation
Would she have participated if her aunt didn't have breast cancer? Maybe. But she didn't hesitate when she made the personal connection with a family member. We're all more likely to do something when we're personally invested.

Children are the present, not the future of our communities
I'm kinda tired of hearing that our young people are our future. I get the concept of that. But they are here today. They are vital members of our communities today. And we should foster their participation, involvement and leadership in our communities today.

In case you missed the subtle link to support the run, here it is again.

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